Our Skipper...


It comes with a heavy heart to share that one of our key staff will no longer be with us. Derek Testerman, our Head Brewer, will be transitioning on to pursue his dreams elsewhere. Derek has been with us since the stages of our buildout, and was instrumental in the finishing of our facility. He toiled over demolition, construction, glycol installation, draft systems, and fine touches. As a team of guys that was new to the industry, he provided us key insights and helped to make important decisions about the production of our beer. His recipe development helped us put together the awesome beers you have come to love, and began the slow and steady task of managing our wild beer program (it’s coming, but we wont rush it!). 

We are a boutique brewery, a close-knit group and are like a family (we are after all, family-run). Derek is from the East Coast and will likely be returning closer to his own family soon, and it would not be a surprise to see him go off on his own one day. He is a talent and a class act, and he will be missed around here in Costa Mesa. As hard as it is to lose him, we will support him in his future endeavors and we will follow their unraveling.

And with that, we are also very pleased to announce that Kevin Hammons has been named Gunwhale Ale’s new Head Brewer. We are lucky to have such a solid replacement, as Kevin is local to Orange County, and a veteran in the industry. Kevin has been overseeing beer production at some very solid local breweries. Kevin worked in the homebrew store at Bruery Provisions, became Brewer, and ended up Brewery Manager at the Bruery. His leadership through expansions there and at Evans Brewing as Director of Brewing Ops is example of his ambition and he is a consummate professional with a serious drive to make the best beer possible. We were attracted to Kevin’s experience in brewing, in managing wild and barrel aged beer, for his experience with packaging and all things product-focused.  We care immensely about product at Gunwhale, and we assure you our quality will not just remain excellent but continue to strive for world class in every sense.

With Kevin taking helm on the brew deck in a few weeks, prepare to see more unique aromas, innovative flavor profiles, intensely-flavored but nuanced beer. We love our hoppy beers and are very proud of them (so keep drinking them at breakneck pace)! But we will continue to develop our wild fermentations, rustic wood-aged saisons, and fruited sour beers. Kevin will be taking this program into the future and we cannot wait to release some of them when they are ready."